49ers depth chart 2022: Predicting defensive starting lineup

Jimmie Ward #1 and Talanoa Hufanga #29 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jimmie Ward #1 and Talanoa Hufanga #29 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Emmanuel Moseley, Dontae Johnson, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers defensive back Emmanuel Moseley (4) and defensive back Dontae Johnson (27) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Cornerback

Left Cornerback: Charvarius Ward

Right Cornerback: Emmanuel Moseley

Nickel: Samuel Womack

While San Francisco’s situation at cornerback is far more fluid than safety, one could make the argument fewer concerns exist here.

That’s mainly due to the 49ers’ offseason stockpiling of cornerbacks, highlighted by the free-agent pickup of Charvarius Ward, who’ll automatically assume the No. 1 spot on the depth chart.

Opposite him on the boundary, it’s much more an open-ended question. Should the Niners field Emmanuel Moseley as a starter, it’d indicate oft-injured veteran Jason Verrett isn’t quite recovered from last year’s ACL tear. Yet Verrett could, in theory, be the go-to option if fully healthy.

Let’s go with Moseley for now, though.

OK, yes, nickel cornerbacks aren’t technically starters when looking at base-down formations. But in today’s pass-happy NFL, they may as well be.

In one of the more intriguing training camp battles to watch, San Francisco can hope its fifth-round NFL Draft rookie, Samuel Womack, continues what’s been an impressive offseason thus far in which he could seize the starting nickel job over other contenders like Darqueze Dennard, Dontae Johnson and potentially Ambry Thomas.

Despite the promise, it’s always important to acknowledge first-year defensive backs can struggle at the NFL level, so perhaps Womack will endure some growing pains even if he gets the start here.